Many Dothan residents may not have been aware of a fire that consumed the former Supreme Meadow Gold Ice Cream plant downtown last week until they read news reports online or in the newspaper, or happened to see the plume of smoke visible for miles.

It was a sight to behold — not simply because of the scope of the blaze but because of the precision in which Dothan’s firefighters contained the fire.

Dothan’s fire units arrived quickly and assessed the building. From our newsroom, we could hear the calm direction of leaders directing fire personnel, making safety checks and ensuring the maneuvers honed in countless hours of training were deployed as intended.

The choreography unfolded like second nature, and the department’s immediate goals were accomplished flawlessly, or so it appears — none of the more than 25 firefighters battling the blaze was injured, the fire was contained to the original structure and no bystanders or motorists suffered from the incident.

Our city is fortunate in that it has had few major fires throughout its history. It’s comforting to know that an emergency of significant scope isn’t likely to overwhelm our city’s ranks of firefighting professionals. Training, particularly in a field fraught with personal risk and high stakes, is invaluable.

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